LEH: An hour before the inauguration of daylong ‘Green Ladakh Festival’, a glittering ceremony being attended by dignitaries including His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche, Bavarian Minister of Environment and Consumer Protection, Dr Scharf of Germany, Chief Executive Councillor, LAHDC, Leh Dr Sonam Dawa and Executive Councillors of the Hill Council Leh, Ladakh was elated by getting set to enter ‘ Ladakh Ice Stupa’ to the Guinness Book of World Records as highest manmade Ice Sculpture here at Phyang Thang on Saturday. “The previous record held for the tallest manmade Ice Sculpture is in China which is 53 feet high”, Sonam Wangchuk, the engineer who bagged prestigious Rolex Award for Enterprises in 2016 for building Ice Stupas to conserve water, informed the media after the newly built Ice Stupa of Ladakh recorded a length of 78.4 feet, far taller than the one in China.
“We had one chief surveyor from the civil engineering wing of government and two witnesses, one from the army and another from the police department. They measured with a total station measuring device and it came as 78.4 feet,” said Wangchuk adding that now they will be submitting it to Guinness Book for analyses of the records and then it will be declared in a week or so if it makes it. Giving historical background of Ice Stupa glaciers, Wangchuk said that Ice Stupas are Ladakhi or Indian innovations to conserve water. “We freeze winter water which nobody needs. Since Ice Stupas are in the shape of cones it lasts till June-July and melts slowly,” he said while hoping that this can become a solution all over Himalayas where there is shortage of water in early spring. Ice Stupa in Ladakh has now become a tourist attraction and a source of converting barren land into greenery. It is learnt that last month around 3000 visitors came to witness this Ice Stupa.
Meanwhile, Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche later inaugurated a daylong ‘Green Ladakh Festival’ as a part of the ‘Go Green Go Organic’ project. The Rinpoche has started this project in different parts of Ladakh. Issues discussed in the session included potential of Seabuckthorn in high altitude, scope of artificial glaciers in the Himalayas, water-food nexus, hopes and challenges in making Ice Stupa glaciers, etc.
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© 2016 State Times Daily Newspaper